https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk/the-mot-nightmares-before-christmas-2/

The MOT nightmares before Christmas 2

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. The sound of sleigh bells could put even Ebeneezer Scrooge in the Christmas spirit - but the only bells some MOT testers heard this year were alarm bells!

Don’t let your car end up like some MOT testers found these. Take a look at these treats from our festive menu around the country.

Deck the halls, not the foot pedal

When it comes to Christmas, you’ll want to add some finishing touches to really make the days special.

David’s latest customer thought nothing of covering his foot pedals with an offcut of decking, painted nicely to match the carpet and mat, and fastened neatly with tie wraps.

When he asked if the original brake pedal was damaged, the customer replied ‘No my foot keeps missing the pedal’. Epic fail without even having to test the car!

Got any nuts?

Someone’s been squirrelling their nuts away judging by the suspension on this vehicle taken to Kevin’s MOT testing station.

He found one nut was missing and another only finger tight. The ball joint holding the hub and wheel assembly could have detached due to the loose and missing bolts.

If that had happened while it was being driven, the driver could have lost control of the vehicle. This could have caused a serious accident if the MOT tester hadn’t caught it.

Well mashed

Roast potatoes go well with a Christmas meal but these fuel filler and breather pipes were almost mashed by the rear coil spring in this suspension calamity.

The customer of this 2003 Renault Clio had no idea, saying it ‘drove fine’ and had been doing so for some time.  If the issue hadn’t been pointed out, the car could have had a dangerous fuel leak.

A right turkey

We know it’s a tradition to break a wishbone for good luck, but this owner didn’t get what they wanted when they took their Proton into Simon’s garage.  The owner mentioned 'the steering pulls a bit' but he wasn’t going to keep it long anyway.

Under the car, the tester could see a broken wishbone so the wheel and hub were floating about - no wonder the steering didn’t work properly.

It’s a good job that Simon’s garage spotted this as the driver could have lost steering and the car could have crashed, injuring both himself and passengers.

The really scary thing - this was a taxi!

5 calling birds?

The fourth day of Christmas brings us 4 calling birds but this MOT tester found 5 cute chicks nestled in this car’s suspension.  Good job he raised a call to rescue them!

And finally…

We’re glad these issues were picked up by the UK’s hardworking MOT testers before any more damage could be done to the vehicles, driver or passengers.

Keep sending in your horror stories, explaining when, where and how you found them and we’ll feature some more on this blog soon.

Merry Christmas and have a safe time driving in 2019!

50 comments

  1. Comment by Jake posted on

    I have a couple of questions for the DVSA about testing the brake pad wear indicators on a vehicle. At the time I posted this comment there is no RfR for the brake pad wear warning device illuminated on the dashboard. There is a RfR in section 1.1.13 for the brake pads being worn down the wear indicator but the guidance notes only mention metal wear indicators or cuts in the pad. Does this RfR also apply to electronic wear sensors fitted to brake pads? And also can the electronic wear sensors be failed under the RfRs in section 4.11.a/b/c? It does not make sense to me to fail a vehicle on damaged/disconnected pad sensor wires if the pads are clearly ok and the brake pad wear warning light is not testable. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Comment by Cnp posted on

    Merry christmas and happy new year Julia / Testers
    Isit allowed to use a mobile phone if your pc is broken down?

    Reply
    • Replies to Cnp>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi there

      Yes the system will allow you to record a test on a phone. However, you should record why you did this as it will show up in the test logs this has been done and it could look like fraudulent behaviour. If you explain why it happened, you should be ok.

      Reply
  3. Comment by dave bs posted on

    can someone explain this. 2nd January, back to work after Christmas, 1st thing before loggin on to a test checked my tqi and risk guide. number of test 50 odd. average age 9, average time taken 45 mins fail rate low 50% (higher than average but also more tests than average) and Rag is green. looked again today same stats but rag rating is amber. who has this happened? and is this happening to other testers

    Reply
    • Replies to dave bs>

      Comment by STUART posted on

      Yes, but not told why so how can we find out our “shortcomings “

      Reply
    • Replies to dave bs>

      Comment by michael posted on

      Guidance

      MOT special notice 12-18: MOT testing station applications, site reviews and MOT risk ratings
      Published 7 November 2018

      Reply
      • Replies to michael>

        Comment by dave bs posted on

        yes but that don't explain why it changed with the month, I was under the understanding they only changed after the end of each month, also found I am not the only one this has happened to

        Reply
        • Replies to dave bs>

          Comment by dave bs posted on

          sorry my last comment even confuses me and I wrote it, like I said on original post 1st thing January second before conducting any tests I checked my test quality info and RAG rating all good and RAG rating green for December, yet a week later in January my RAG rating is amber but the test quality info is the same, and no one from dvsa is responding, I know I'm not the only one this is happened too

          Reply
  4. Comment by Steve Hawkins posted on

    Hi

    Can you look at the MOT advice line
    You are currently telling or giving advice to switch the Engine and ignition of when testing the rear service brake on the Mercedes Benz A and some B class models the advice is given on
    W168 W169 W176 and W246 this is totally wrong it should only apply to W168 A Class model. If the Engine or Ignition is on when testing the service brake on the rear wheels the ABS operates

    Reply
    • Replies to Steve Hawkins>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Steve

      Vehicle technical data only goes as far as looking at unusual aspects for the general model title, such as 'A class' and does not drill further down to say, W168. This information comes from the manufacturer.

      We'll look into what we can do to make this information clearer.

      Reply
  5. Comment by graham posted on

    nice to see all the comments lets all keep them coming shows we are doing are job properly and keeping are roads safe

    Reply
  6. Comment by stevie posted on

    Happy newyear to all testers, and the staff at DVSA .

    Reply
    • Replies to stevie>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      And thanks to all the hard work MOT testers have put in at their testing stations across the country.

      Reply
  7. Comment by Simon R posted on

    Is it possible for someone from DVSA to clear up some queries about new limits for diesel smoke testing?
    Are we to assume that any sticker or plate with a number in it is for the diesel smoke limit?
    If the customer were to remove the sticker after failing the smoke test what limits do we apply for the retest? I have read elsewhere on the blog comments that you retest using the original limits, but surely this can’t be correct because if the vehicle was taken elsewhere it would be tested to default limits and what about subsequent tests?
    Some vehicles first used after 1/7/2008 have a plate limit higher than 1.5 but the update to our machine won’t let us put anything higher than 1.5. I spoke to the equipment manufacturer regarding this and they told me these were the limits they were given to include in the update? We can’t expect a vehicle to meet limits it wasn’t designed to meet when it was new? Is there a work around for this situation?

    Reply
    • Replies to Simon R>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Simon

      You can usually find the smoke value of a vehicle on a VIN plate in a box, often in the bottom right hand corner of the VIN plate, such as 0.52 or 1.82. It could be on a separate plate with an ‘E’ in a circle followed by an ‘R’ and a number (representing the country granting the approval). Again the number will be in a box. These are the usual configurations, though others do exist.

      If a vehicle fails the emissions test on a plate value and it is presented for retest without the plate or is defaced, you should still test the vehicle to plate value.

      If you can’t programme the smoke value into your diesel smoke meter, you still need to test to these values. If the printout shows an incorrect test result, you’ll have to override this and changing the printout accordingly. We are currently looking at how we can best resolve this issue going forwards.

      Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Maria posted on

        Surely if the plate value is removed prior to a retest then you have to retest as presented? If presented without a plate value then the default limit must be used? Or are you saying "as presented" does not count?
        Maria

        Reply
        • Replies to Maria>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Maria

          You carry out the retest to the plate value as you know what this is from the initial test print out and the customer is trying to defraud the test. Hopefully, by the time they come in for test the following year we will have the plate values as part of the emissions book.

          Reply
        • Replies to Maria>

          Comment by gbr posted on

          if you could refuse to test if no plate value available this would save us testers alot of time looking for plates that may never have been there in the first place.Get it in the vsi and make manufacturers more accountable and stop customers removing these plates.It wont be long before these emissions plates(stickers in some cases )are available on ebay( if not already) which makes the whole emissions test a joke

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by gbr posted on

        So this vehicle failed its plate value emissions test then returned with plate removed or illegible. You say retest to plate value how can this be done when the tester cant read the plate?

        Reply
        • Replies to gbr>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi

          You carry out the retest to the plate value as you know what this is from the initial test print out and the customer is trying to defraud the test. Hopefully, by the time they come in for test the following year we will have the plate values as part of the emissions book.

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by A Tester posted on

        I am not understanding this .How can you retest to a plate value thats no longer there. Do you not mean test to default limit?

        Reply
        • Replies to A Tester>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi

          No, you carry out the retest to the plate value as you know what this is from the initial test print out and the customer is trying to defraud the test. Hopefully, by the time they come in for test the following year we will have the plate values as part of the emissions book.

          Reply
          • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

            Comment by Matt posted on

            What if the presenter "forgets" the print out?

          • Replies to Matt>

            Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

            Hi Matt

            If the presenter doesn't have a printout and can't remember the result, then the test will need to be done to default levels.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by mr tester posted on

        would it not be a good idea to have the plate value as part of the vsi

        Reply
        • Replies to mr tester>

          Comment by Simon R posted on

          Yes that would clear up any confusion or worry over owners removing or tampering with stickers, plates etc. Instead we have to keep a record of the limits we applied in case the vehicle returns for retest! I'm still unsure what would happen the year after the sticker/plate was removed, do we have to keep emission print outs for years?!! Some help on this would be really appreciated from DVSA. Maybe a special notice? Unless testers come on this comments section how on earth would we know the procedure for retesting a diesel vehicle that has had the plate/sticker removed? There is no mention of this in the testing manual.

          Reply
          • Replies to Simon R>

            Comment by P MILES posted on

            And it still doesn't alter the fact that if I fail it on exceeding the plate limit but the presenter removes or defaces the sticker and takes it somewhere else then it gets tested to default limits and possibly passes. So it then has a perfectly legitimate pass for a vehicle which doesn't meet the required standards.

        • Replies to mr tester>

          Comment by Tony S posted on

          Hi Julia
          Surely if the presenter forgets his printout then the garage would have to refer to their copy which has to be retained for 3 months!

          Reply
    • Replies to Simon R>

      Comment by Bert posted on

      surely if the plate limit is higher than 1.5 then you should be testing to the 1.5 limit anyway, you test to which ever is the lowest

      Reply
      • Replies to Bert>

        Comment by Simon R posted on

        This was the case when the changes were first implemented but since then the wording has been changed to “For vehicles first used between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2013, the smoke limit will be:
        •the level specified on the manufacturer's plate if available
        •1.5m-1

        Reply
      • Replies to Bert>

        Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

        Hi Bert

        For vehicles first used on or after 1 July 2008 you test to the plate value (where one exists) whether this is higher or lower than default.

        Reply
        • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

          Comment by dave bs posted on

          I make a not of the plate test value when a vehicle is presented for test on my inspection sheet, so if a vehicle is brought for retest with the value defaced , I have it on record what it should be. I also believe it mat be usefull if we ever got a site visit, as I can show the V.I that I have proof I am testing to values on vehicles presented. I just think its good practice

          Reply
  8. Comment by Bert posted on

    Out of curiosity, what failure criteria was used on the brake pedal if the grooved piece of wood wasn't loose?

    Reply
  9. Comment by ali madadi posted on

  10. Comment by Andy McRae posted on

    Merry Christmas to all. Hope you have a good one. 👍

    Reply
  11. Comment by Les Asquith xxx posted on

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year

    Reply
  12. Comment by alan mirfin posted on

    good captions well done

    Reply
  13. Comment by Geoff posted on

    Only the tip of the iceberg(THE VERY TIP)

    Reply
  14. Comment by Gurmit posted on

    Well done merry Christmas

    Reply
  15. Comment by Les Asquith posted on

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year

    Reply
  16. Comment by Alan Morris posted on

    Think if thick metal is cracking on wishbones and the frame work of a car is too rusty it can fail at any time should be a law on the age of a car say 15 years or somthing no mater how much works done on a car can not fix the hole structure to make a car safe

    Reply
  17. Comment by Geoff posted on

    Hi, I've always liked seeing these horror stories...they're almost like a bit of banter between yourselves and us testers, a bit of fun even though we all know it's definitely not funny! Useful too I think, especially for new or inexperienced NT's. I have to say though, that a picture does not always tell the full story...although most are obvious, some stories in the past have left me struggling to think what RfR (sorry, DEFECT!) was actually used to fail the vehicle. In fact it's sometimes not stated that the vehicle actually failed the test. I understand that you're limited by the pictures and info provided by us testers, but I feel that in some instances, referring to actual defects or advisories from the manual could help to round off these stories.
    I also wondered if the MOT service desk might provide some info on some of the enquiries they get...I'm sure there's a bit of a laugh to be had there and maybe a few eye openers for NT's!
    Anyway, I've packed up work for Christmas now so please, enjoy yours and have a good new year too!

    Geoff

    Reply
    • Replies to Geoff>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Geoff

      Thank you for your comments. We will look into seeing if we can get some more information on the reasons the vehicles were failed. Most of the images we get are of vehicles that failed their MOT or were refused a test. We ask testers to provide as much information as possible on the item in the picture they've sent us, such as why it failed and on what.

      If you have any MOT horror stories from your garage, please send them to us atsocial.media@dvsa.gov.uk

      Happy New Year!

      Reply
  18. Comment by Eddy teasdale posted on

    We have a few pictures ..how can we upload them to yourselves

    Reply
  19. Comment by andy cripps posted on

    Very entertaining!

    "epic fail without having to test the car" Now I appreciate the sherry may have been opened and its the festive period, but your not supposed to fail ( or pass) a car without testing the car first! Or is that another change I must have missed!!

    Reply
  20. Comment by David Daniel posted on

    It's Christmas give us a break.

    Reply
  21. Comment by Robert Mark Pike posted on

    Nice to see testers are on the bauble. 😀

    Reply
  22. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    at least he used decking,most of which is advertised as anti slip!the scary bit of course is that if it was the clutch or throttle then pass no problem but we will save that discussion for another day.anyone driving an 03 clio has already suffered enough,that would be best described as a mercy killing.proton?didnt know there were any left outside of a scrapyard and that one sure aint gonna buck the trend!the birds nest only goes to highlight the state of summa the old wrecks that folks buy as a bargain,makes a nice change from the mice nests/munched wiring I normally see.just curious,are the testers concerned rag scores in the amber/red as a result of these old wrecks?.......

    Reply
  23. Comment by Lawerence posted on

    Great stuff, we mot stations really do save lives !

    Reply

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